A strong case could be made that the undoing of the Dodgers’ 2010 season was the bullpen… or lack thereof. Sure, the hitting in the second half was non-existent, but as a team in NoCal proved, you can win with little hitting , good pitching and a good bullpen.
In 2010, Cory Wade was AWOL, Ramon Troncoso struggled all season as he bounced up and down to AAA, George Sherrill pitched like Cheryl Miller, Ronnie Belisario missed huge amounts of time while being horrible most of the rest of the time, and to say that Jon Broxton’s well–documented meltdowns were of epic proportions, would be an understatement.
In the wasteland that used to be the Dodgers bullpen, only Hong-chih Kuo and Kenley Jansen acquitted themselves. Well, actually I guess I would have to say that Carlos Monasterios pitched pretty well out of the pen as well, but my point is that the Dodgers’ Pen was Bull in 2010, and I think that it would be a knee-jerk reaction to try and rebuild it. Ned himself said that bullpen’s were fickle – good one year and bad the next.
As most of you know, I have never had confidence in J-Brox, and this off-season is no different than last – I think the Dodgers should TRADE HIM if they can! $7 million is a lot for a setup man, but one can only hope that a team like the Cardinals with pitching wizard Dave Duncan would want to try and “fix” Broxton. Beyond Brox, there is Troncoso, Wade, Belisario and several minor leaguers could be bullpen candidates, including Scott Elbert (very likely), Josh Lindblom (don’t let his bad season scare you away), Rubby DeLaRosa, Brent Leach, Travis Schilichting and others. I think Kuo and Jansen can be co-closers. While I am not against getting a couple more arms for the pen, I would opt for quality, not quantity (you know, just someone like Paul Quantrill). Jeff Weaver could still be in the mix because of his versatility. I know he had a bad year in 2010 (ERA-wise), but remember, bullpens are fickle.
It looks like Scott Elbert’s velocity has come back, judging by reports from the AFL, and I would not be surprised to see him back at 94-95 next season out of the pen. To improve their bullpen, the Dodgers may not have to look far. The solutions may already be in-house.
- Adrian Beltre and Jason Werth both have the same agent (Scott Boreass) and the Dodgers and Angels have both had issues with him, particularly the Angels with Mark-Tex.
- Buster Olney said he felt that Cliff Lee would get a $138 mil/6-year deal. No way I would EVER encourage the Dodgers to do that deal!
- Carl Crawford will probably get 6 -years at around $100 mil. He’s younger and a better risk. I would consider that.
- The pitching that’s out there is a bunch or misfits and retreads beyond Lee – there would a lot of risk – reward too. Stay tuned….
From MLB Trade Rumors:
- Instead of the typical 15-day free agent filing period following the World Series, it will be five days.
- Typically the deadline for a team to offer arbitration to its own free agents has been December 1st; it’s now November 23rd.
- December 7th has been the deadline for free agents to accept or decline arbitration offers from their old teams; it’s now November 30th.
- December 12th has been the non-tender deadline; it’s now December 2nd.
- The above dates are confirmed. On the unconfirmed side, there is word that the Rule 5 draft may be moved to November 20th. The Rule 5 draft typically marks the end of the Winter Meetings, but that gathering takes place from December 6-9 this year in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.
- The goal here, according to Stark, is to lengthen the offseason free agent negotiating period, resulting in fewer unsigned players in February and March.
- November 7th – Free agents can negotiate with any team
- November 16th-17th – GM Meetings, Orlando, Florida
- November 23rd – Deadline for teams to offer arbitration to their own free agents
- November 30th – Deadline for players to accept or decline arbitration offers from their former teams
- December 2nd – Deadline for teams to tender contracts to arbitration eligible players
- December 6th-9th – Winter Meetings, Lake Buena Vista, Florida
- January 18th – Teams and players exchange salary arbitration figures